How to Own Your Local Market as a Car Dealership 

Nov 9, 2022
Car dealership employee talking with a customer

Convenience is at the forefront of many customers’ purchasing behaviors in today’s world. The days when car dealerships would have endless foot traffic pouring through their doors as passersby caught a glimpse of the latest models are gone. Shoppers are taking to online methods such as virtual showrooms, dealer websites, and social media platforms to find their next vehicle. So, how does a dealership ensure they are the go-to spot for potential customers in their area? 

To remain relevant and top-of-mind for customers, it’s more important than ever that you own your automotive market as a dealership owner. This article will unpack what dealers can do to control sales and own their local market. 

Dominate social media 

Owning your automotive market starts from the comfort of your ideal customer’s home, which means online. The days when customers had to get a feel for the vehicle and sit in it before buying it are gone. That said, customers want to do as much research as possible online before stepping into a dealership. 

This is good news for you! If most of your customers are already starting their car-buying journey online, that’s the first place you need to focus your attention on dominating. Posting regular content about your latest models, deals, and offers on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram will ensure potential customers in your area see your dealership name pop up in their feeds often. 

But, it doesn’t stop there. You also need to be responsive to any questions or comments on your posts. Showing that you’re active on social media and care about engaging with current and potential customers will go a long way in owning your automotive market. 

Another way to dominate social media is by using platforms such as Snapchat and Twitter to give customers a behind-the-scenes look at your dealership. This will help create a personal connection with potential customers and make them feel like they know your dealership before stepping inside. 

Provide incentives for customers to visit 

The second way to start owning your automotive market is to incentivize customers to visit your dealership. For example, you can offer a free car wash to those who come in for a test drive, or host dealership events with food, games, giveaways, etc.  

Be sure to also promote any purchasing/financing/leasing incentives to potential customers.  

Incentivizing customers to visit your dealership increases the chances of them doing business with you and ultimately helping you own your automotive market. 

Use localized advertising campaigns 

We will now discuss what dealers can do to control sales in their local market. One of the best ways to do this is by using localized advertising campaigns. 

Localized advertising campaigns are a great way to target potential customers in your area specifically. By tailoring your ads to target people in your city or town, you are more likely to reach buyers interested in doing business with you. 

Not sure how to get started with localized advertising? You can begin by creating Google My Business and Bing Places for Business listings for your dealership. These listings will help improve your visibility when potential customers search for dealerships in their area. 

Another way to promote your dealership through localized advertising is by running display advertising. Display advertising is a form of online advertising that allows you to show your ads on websites relevant to your business. 

Kelley Blue Book is one of the best places to get started with display advertising. Kelley Blue Book offers many different display advertising strategies tailored to owning your dealership market.  

Utilize window stickers and traditional marketing methods 

In addition to using localized advertising campaigns, another great way to control sales in your local market is to utilize window stickers. Window stickers are a great way to grab the attention of potential customers as they drive by your dealership. 

Make sure your window stickers stand out and include special offers, financing options, and contact information. You want potential customers to be able to quickly see what you’re offering and how they can take advantage of it. Another great strategy is to include trusted brand partners in your window stickers. For instance, Kelley Blue Book can provide car valuation stickers that bring a level of trust and authority to your dealership. 

In addition to using window stickers, don’t forget traditional marketing methods such as print ads and direct mailers. These methods may seem old-fashioned, but they can still effectively reach potential customers in your area. 

Grow an email list 

Growing an email list is another excellent way to control sales in your local market. By collecting email addresses from potential customers, you can stay in touch with them and let them know about new offers and inventory. 

One of the best ways to grow your email list is by offering incentives for people to sign up. For instance, you could provide a free car wash or a $50 gift card for anyone who signs up for your email list. 

Another great way to grow your email list is using lead driver forms on your website. Kelley Blue Book offers a lead driver solution that incentivizes website visitors to provide their contact information to receive vehicle pricing, quotes, and more. After you have the customers’ email addresses, you can add them to your email marketing list. 

Become a part of the community! 

If you are still asking yourself what dealers can do to control sales, one more great way to do this is by becoming a valued part of the community! 

Being involved in your community shows that you’re not just interested in selling cars but also invested in making your community a better place. There are many different ways to get involved in your community. You can start by sponsoring local events, donating to local charities, or even hosting your events at your dealership. 

Hosting an event at your dealership significantly increases foot traffic and gets people talking about your business. Make sure to promote your event ahead of time and include information such as what will be happening, when it is, and how people can RSVP. One of the best ways to do this is by creating a local event on Facebook and inviting other local businesses to participate. One great strategy for local events is to use cross-promotions with other companies. Finding businesses with complementary products or services is a great way to reach new potential customers. 

What dealers can do to control sales 

When focusing on owning your automotive market, there are a few key things that you, as a dealership, can do to help increase sales and gain market share. 

With social media and online searches dominating commerce, the first place for you to start is online. Setting up social media accounts is free, as is posting on them organically. Once you have a social media presence, running localized advertising campaigns and becoming involved in the community are excellent ways to gain awareness and increase local market share. 

These steps will increase your dealership’s traffic and create a lasting relationship with your customers. For more information on how your dealership can own your market, visit our dealer resources page